Hil said…

“Write something.”

I’ve had 2 MRIs and an MRV- Some brain issues likely congenital. Non-operable but not fatal. Will continue to cause problems though. Scarring from repeated head trauma not helping.

Neither is stress. To that end:

Daily mindfulness meditation.

Clonazepam as needed.

Alprazolam too.

Healthier diet.

Moderate exercise, mostly in the form of house cleaning.


I am no longer employed. Subsequent shame and embarrassment difficult to process. Daily humiliated crying. Hubs occasionally catches me but believes my bullshit about tears being sparked by music, Netflix, Momsy excess.


Sebastian passed his road test and I am coping with child being able to come and go at will. Like Husband, Child gets what he needs. A calm confident mother who smiles and waves good-bye with casual pride in son’s awesome new life skill.


I lie to myself too and pretend I am not horrified and ashamed of my amok weight gain. I wear fun dresses from Torrid and got a ridiculously fashionable pair of prescription sunglasses.


Today I painted my nails for the first time in weeks. To remove a gel manicure one must basically chisel it off with a Dremel. The nail beneath is left thin and flimsy. Going to the nail salon was the first little luxury to go when my pay went POOF! I removed the remnants of my last gel manicure a few weeks ago and have been waiting for the thinned nails to grow out. They have, mostly. So now my very short but reasonably strong fingernails are a deep carnation pink. Very Hollywood.

Also to combat my extreme shame at being fat, ill, and unemployed (again!) and somewhat shield my mind’s watering eye from that gigantic mental billboard continuously flashing in garish neon ‘LOSER! LOSER! LOSER!’ I make myself pay attention when I do things well or face down something scary.

I renegotiated my cable bill and am saving us $70 a month. I needed to change out some equipment and reactivate my service to get the new rate. And I fucking did it. Hooking up cable, computers, even a new phone and answering machine is scary and intimidating to me.

I’ve lost count of the amazing meals I’ve prepared. It’s difficult to remember to give myself credit for cooking. Even when there’s serious skill involved and there often is. Tendency to discount things I’m good at because it feels like if I can do it anyone can. Also a deep distrust from a lifetime of being punctured when I got ‘cocky’. First my Da, then my mother, then an assortment of teachers, followed by bosses, and that all time champeen of finding ways to sink my self-esteem…the ex-husband. Now, of course, the internet is handy for a good ego thrashing. Always a troll or three around to tell me how fat, uppity, untalented I am and what a crap wife, friend, and mother I am too. But honestly I’m the quickest on the draw and can find fault and belittle myself better, harder and faster than anyone else. I work on this and work on this.

Anyway, back to good things.

I installed under-cabinet puck lights. Little LED ones that are soooo bright. Love, love, love them.

Getting in that damn MRI tunnel a second and third time was scary and hard and made me feel so defeated and sad. But I did it, so go me, eh?

Ditto for beginning the hunt for a therapist. And for finally making an appointment with the rheumatologist. Scary, scary.

One good thing which was totally easy and very fun- I purchased more of my friends’ work. Books and paintings. A really good friend would provide links but I’m talking about me right now.

Well, no. Actually I am finished talking about me right now. It’s making me anxious and upset. ~LA


Inside An Absurdist’s Brain

Okay yeah, something showed up on my brain MRI and I have to go back into the tunnel. This time with dye and radioactive isotopes injected into my bloodstream. Always a hoot. So much easier to make my way to the can in the middle of night when I glow in the dark.

Feh. Enough of that.

Last night I realized something totally absurd- I am mad at a dead person. Not only that but what I am angry about happened 14 years ago and it was said by someone I only knew online. I am angry at a pixel person and have been angry for almost 15 years. The person in question died a couple years ago but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. Not her life status, not the passage of time. I thought about why I waste so much energy on something so dumb as being angry at a corpse and see it’s the unfairness of what she did. At a time in my life when I was completely bowed down under grief and worry and was lower than a snake’s arsehole this woman chose to take a baseless vicious slap at me. Specifically at my mothering of my younger son. Why? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that her words hit me like a blow to the solar plexus. Words that came winging in out of nowhere and stuck a shiv into my ouchiest place for no other discernible reason than the sheer joy of being cruel. The pleasure of hitting someone when she was already down. The cheapest of shots. Delivered with a smirk.

Sadly I have another of these one-sided blood feuds going with someone else also. Someone I met in person once and is still alive. But she, too, has taken especial joy in saying the shittiest things to me at times when I am least able to deal. A human hyena. Someone who’s made a fricken blood sport out of mockery and others’ pain. Supposedly this person has gotten her life in order and sheathed her stiletto tongue, but ain’t none of that Step 9 stuff come my way yet so excuse me if I believe her ‘reformation’ is total bullshit. Once a cruel bitch, always a cruel bitch. The only reason I know anything about this bruja’s life now is because, like the Corleone family, I believe in keeping my friends close and my enemies closer. She will never ever be allowed to get the drop on me again.

As for the dead woman? Obviously she won’t be saying anything else. Her words and my pain from them serve another purpose though- they remind me to walk softly. To be aware of the fragility of those around me. I’ve never been a one to smack my lips over the savory goodness of others’ hurt (unlike some people) but I have been known to be careless. Unmindful. Even if I didn’t mean to hurt someone when I do I must own it. Intentionally inflicted or not, I am not the decider of someone else’s pain. So if I accidentally stomp on someone’s feelings and they let me know I owe it to them to acknowledge my flub and apologize. Ideally I don’t barge over someone else’s ouchie spots in the first place, but life happens. And yes, I have admitted to myself the possibility that that long ago cheap shot wasn’t intentional, but I did speak up and no apology was forthcoming so I’m going with that she meant to fuck me over. For reasons that went with her to the grave.

Speaking of feelings from times past, Mick took me out last night and I wore a dress from Torrid. And………….I felt pretty. It was startling. I hadn’t realized just how far I’d sunk. Weight and age keep piling up and this human barge drifts farther and farther away from the shores of Pretty Town. To feel attractive again was a wonderment. I had this dialog with myself.


Another ouchie place. God forbid I am ever as shallow and awful as Hannah Morgan, but she is correct about this. It is wonderful. Moving through your day and meeting nothing but approving faces and welcome is fabulous. The world is very kind to the beautiful. I won’t bore you guys with the faulty morality and intrinsic absurdity of how this works. I’ll just be bare naked honest and say it was great to be seen again. To be seen and appreciated. No one is ever above some kind of vanity. No one.

Whatever your gift is, it rocks to get kudos for it. Smarts, skill, talent, genetic lottery winnings, yesterday the Me Who Used To Be showed up for a little while and it was nice. As cozy as a favorite sweater, as uplifting as hearing a beloved song you’d forgotten about, I got to be beautiful again for a little while.

So there you go. Inside my head there are vendettas, ear worms, warm and fuzzies, on the physical plane there are plaques and itty-bitty brain bleeds. Compassionate and vain, childish and unforgiving, kind and ridiculously dopey. No one is ever any one thing to the exclusion of all other stuff. Not me, not you.

Not a new insight or a particularly trenchant one. But it’s what I have today. If there’s a takeaway it’s that it is totally okay to have mixed feelings. To have conflicting opinions and values. Purity is for gold bullion and clarified butter. Everything and everyone else is a patchwork. As it should be. Mutts are ever and always the hardiest of breeds.

I’ve messed with the HTML too much. Must see the kind of mish-mash I’ve made. Edits to come.


Your messy, non-linear pal, ~LA

It Sounds Like This…

I got into a book fight over on FB this morning and it was GLORIOUS. God, for the first time in months I was in a discussion about words and ideas and it wasn’t spiritually draining and intellectually dismaying. It wasn’t hateful and stupid and mean. Nobody was trying to bully others into shutting up by being so freaking awful all you can do is close your browser and find a cat to hug while you try to cry the poison out of your system and beat back the hopelessness and despair by humming Stevie Wonder songs.

Ah, Stevie Wonder- a blind man whose life’s work is about bringing light into the world.

If you read the previous entry you know I am on a new diet to improve my health. ‘Diet’ as in my menu not in a lose weight kind of thing. Something, btw, not one single doctor has suggested to me. At least not once they see my numbers. “Today on ‘Doctors Are Dumbfounded’ an obese woman is having health issues unrelated to being overweight. In a real stunner this fatso has textbook perfect blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, triglycerides, and has coronary arteries cleaner than the Pope’s backside.”

However I do have a rather nasty vitamin deficiency so I’ve added whole grains and more dark leafy stuff and am drinking milk. I cannot bring myself to eat cheese or organ meat. It’s a smell thing, not squeamishness. Liver smells. Most cheeses smell. Frankly, they reek. I eat bologna and hot dogs on the reg, I’d have no prob eating clabbered milk products and internal organs if they didn’t stink so bad. But they do so I don’t.

Another area of consumption I’ve changed for my health is media. Specifically the news. I don’t. And I’ve blocked people and do heavy editing at FB. I even stay off Buzzfeed nowadays and I used to enjoy it there. But they, like every other outlet vying for attention ($$$), has gone to the dark side with an endless stream of garbage like: ‘Are You a Good Person? Are You Sure?’ and ‘If You Like These Things You Are A Pile of Crap!’. Let’s not forget the pimple popping videos and relentless shameless shilling for Amazon. Gone are the fluffy fun days of the staffers trying eat vintage recipes and The Try Guys getting nekkid for laughs.

Not that truly important things aren’t happening, they are. It’s just that it’s become impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff. A bitch slap fight between a couple Kardashians gets as much (if not more) coverage as the attempted government overthrow in Turkey. And even that might be bearable if everything wasn’t shrieked at full volume and always canted toward the worst, scariest, most hateful way possible. I know I am not the only one who feels like I’ve been hijacked into some kind of sadistic Forest of Fear. A sicko version where instead of college kids in Halloween make-up wielding plastic pitchforks, everything is real. Real knives. Real bullets. Real psychopaths. And they are coming for us. And there is no way out.

The stress of this amped up barrage has helped put me in the hospital twice already. I refuse to participate anymore. Yes, it’s quite likely my country will disintegrate soon, broken to bits under the weight of its own anger and brutal stupidity. Yes, our planet is befouled and the ecosystem that sustains us is dying. Yes, it’s possible I’ll be run over, shot, blown up, or drenched in acid next time I’m at the movies or waiting in line at the DMV. And? What, if anything, can I do? Will being in a constant state of fear solve anything? Will barging around screaming out my anger and sorrow help? Thanks to accessibility to us through the internet, the TV, and our phones those who are doing the hijacking want us afraid and stressed out and terrified of looking away from the carnage even for a moment lest we be the next one to die. Why? Money. Money and the power and freedom from consequences it buys. I don’t know why it continues, they’ve got 99.9% of it now. But whatever. I’m out. I am all through being this guy…


I choose to be content. I opt out of being anyone’s tool. Even if later today it’s taken by some whacko with a gun or a backpack of C-4 right now I’m invested in saving my life. In living it well and rightly and concentrating on what I can control. Media fright fest off. Raisin Bran. Fish oil caplets. Stevie Wonder singing ‘Isn’t She Lovely?’. All that and more IN.

You know what I have to say to the jackwagons who wield the chainsaws real and imagined?


If you want to talk about books or share some hugs or a few laughs you know where I am.


Much love, ~LA


You should see the drafts folder. Oy. I keep starting these things but can’t seem to finish them. So. I have 45 minutes and I will just keep typing and will press the ‘publish’ button no matter where I am. Go!

So far the tests have shown a fairly hefty vitamin B deficiency. Such deficiencies cause mental confusion, anxiety, and a host of physical issues from exhaustion to skin rashes to twitches and tics. BINGO! The fix has begun. Added a daily glass of whole milk, more whole grains, more spinach, and of course, more cowbell. Heh. Christopher Walken moment, sorry. Actually the last on the list is a B-complex supplement. Many people frown on supplements believing they’re bullshit and all nutrition must come from ingesting food. In a perfect universe, yes. In my reality I need all the help I can get.

My Lyme titer was neg but the other autoimmune markers lit up like a pinball machine. No big surprise there, though I am disappointed. Being back in the MRI tunnel was so sad. I feel like all the ways I changed my life for the better are a joke. I am a failure. Cleaned my life of everything from aspartame to toxic relationships. Quit smoking. Made a habit of having breakfast. Got a job. Though I had zero control over when my horrible reproductive system finally gave up I’ve been period-free since April 2014 and am no longer Estrogen’s bitch. I accepted responsibility for my life and my mistakes. I became an advocate for myself in ways that were simply impossible for me to imagine 15 years ago. And more than anything else I have Love. Real, honest-to-goodness, enduring, nourishing, mine with no conditions LOVE.

The one thing I’d had a scorching deficiency of far longer than vitamin B.

I truly believed love would save me. I’d be whole. Safe. Healthy.

Wrong. Again.

Time’s up. ~LA

The Little Notebook

.memo book


One of the things I like/dislike about my job is that I have time to think. The adult and focused part of my brain is engaged in the task at hand (i.e. professional grocery shopping) but the looser loonier part is off yippee-skippy-ing around humming bits of songs, dredging up memories good and bad, wondering about shit, and (most painful for me) making TERRIBLE puns. Quite often this whackadoo treasure hunt in my grey matter turns up things I actually would like to know more about or write about but of course I’ve forgotten them by the time I’m actually sitting here. Enter the little notebook. This week I began carrying a wee notepad in my back pocket and am training myself to jot down those snippets I’d like to revisit. I don’t believe the poobahs that run the joint will object to this, unlike how they would very much object if I whipped out my phone and started googling. Using cell phones on the sales floor is strictly verboten (the youngins fiddle with their phones on the sly anyhow, their hands would have to amputated for anyone under the age of 25 to not text message every 45 seconds) and I take this rule seriously. Plus I have a job that can be physically challenging. I get banged up on the regular and am not about to risk getting my phone smashed because unlike the youngins I don’t hyperventilate and die if it isn’t on my person at all times, my phone stays in my purse and my purse stays back in the department in the purse corral.

Most of the jottings will be just for me, a random curiosity, a mental itch to scratch, however I am hoping occasionally one of those mind wisps will turn into something substantial enough to write about. Most especially something to slam about.

Being a slam poet isn’t something new for me. Nor is it a flash in the pan enthusiasm I’ll wake up from three weeks from now and be embarrassed because I bought supplies. (*coff* yarn, paints, a pilates dvd *coff*) Okay, the slam part is fairly recent, like 10 years or so. But poetry and I go way, way back. The first poem I truly remember crafting was on a modeling shoot. I was 8. It was an ode to Nancy Drew.

Thinking of myself as a poet is fucking complicated, people. You know how many useless skills I excel at? Dozens. If it’s unnecessary for survival, and completely without merit, and has zero hope of profitability I guarantee I’m good at it. Applying eyeliner in a moving vehicle? Need to know the correct temperature and humidity for optimal gourd drying? Want 15 synonyms for ‘salubrious’? I can make bubble juice from dish soap and glycerin that will make bubbles sturdy enough to enclose a car. I know the correct angles for the mirrors inside kaleidoscope barrels. And the pH necessary to carve out limestone caverns with running water. I can tell you who starred in ‘Gargoyles’ and the names of the waterspout gargoyles atop Notre Dame. I can play hopscotch, Chinese jump rope, and know all three verses to ‘Here is the church, here is the steeple’. I am the Empress of Everything Silly.

Do I really want to add ‘poet’ to my sad resume? Take a guess.

Mick and I were talking last night and he was startled when I insisted I am a failure. I am! At least in the most commonly accepted measures. I know I am a fairly moral person. Never killed anyone, etc, etc. I obey traffic laws. I vote. I am kind to old people and have never once stolen from my place of employment, not even a stray french fry when I worked at Burger King back in high school. BFD.

I am also a 53 year old fatso who doesn’t have a college degree, or any real marketable skills, I am estranged from half of my children and all of my other kin, I have been divorced, and all but three of my friends live completely inside my computer. If I died tomorrow I couldn’t raise a quorum of pallbearers. After a week the hole where I’d been would close up completely and it would be like I was never here at all.

So, yeah, let’s burnish an already spectacular CV by adding poet.

And yet I have a little notebook in my back pocket. And I’ve tracked down four open mic venues where I can begin to build my slamming skills. And I signed up for the Poetry Slam Inc newsletter. And not only have I told you, I’ve also roped in my best work pal to come see me recite my slam onstage in a few weeks.

Bold of me to embiggen myself by involving the Beatles but…


I seem to be all over the place today. Am I sad? Or boasting? Or simply taking the piss out of you guys with my chatty nonsense? I honestly don’t know. Do I wish instead of poetry I had finally stopped quashing a secret talent for architecture or renewable energy? Of course. Would it be amazing and wonderful to discover something I’m good at actually helps people or I could support my family by doing it? More than anything.


Angsty, confused, and odder than ever, ~LA

An Ode

Typical Saturday morning. Got up, the dog and I both needed to pee quite urgently (I went first), made coffee, opened FB and found out Ali was dead. Goddamn 2016! Seriously, enough already. I know, I know, people die all the time and from a statistical standpoint 2016 probably isn’t any different, but it feels that way. It feels as if one by one all the lights of my childhood and young adulthood are being put out. Every death makes my life a little dimmer.

And what a light Muhammad Ali was! I was vaguely aware of some controversy involving the draft and a name change and how all the old crocks at Nell’s Luncheonette would go grumbly and cranky when someone said, “Ali”, but mostly I remember Muhammad Ali bursting into my life in 1971 with his epic battle with Joe Frazier. The media frenzy! The trash talk! Ali and Cosell yukking it up, bickering, and trying to out blowhard each other. Was Ali ‘floating like a butterfly, stinging like a bee’ yet? I don’t know, but it matters not, he was still the first rapper this girl ever heard. Ali predates the Sugar Hill Gang by a good 8 years and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Ali from that time is part of a much larger tumble and mishmash, a messy audio and video file in my head marked ‘Early 1970s- Hanna-Barbera, fringed purses, shag carpet, and the joy of Saturday morning before Mom got up’. Ali is in there with the Harlem Globetrotters appearing on Scooby-Doo. With Mr Owl counting licks on Tootsie-Pops. And this…


The picture quality sucks, best I could find though.

Another player from that era, perhaps a bit later but still wearing bell bottoms and a horrible haircut, was the treacle-fest novelizations of songs and movies by undisputed king of the unhappy ending- Herman Raucher. How many times have I read ‘Summer of ’42’? Far more than the number of licks it takes to reach the center of a Tootsie-Pop. Raucher also penned the screenplay and novelization of ‘Ode To Billy Joe’- a delightfully schlocky takeoff on Bobby Gentry’s classic song ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ (which we will get to in a minute). Starring in Raucher’s version was the dynamic duo of Robbie Benson and Glynnis O’Connor, a pairing which is the apotheosis of everything terrible and wonderful about entertainment in the mid-70s. Please, do NOT get me started on Robbie Benson movies, we’ll be here all day. (Ice Castles!!!!!)

In the weird not weird way of the flow along the cosmic consciousness/internet my darling friend Mary did a meme about the song ‘Ode To Billie Joe’ and it’s so fitting on this morning when I am mourning Ali that it kind of makes me feel a little better.

The Saturday 9 Meme of ‘Ode To Billie Joe’

1) This song takes places on “the third of June,” which is described as “another sleepy, dusty Delta” day. Describe the weather where you were on Friday, June 3, 2016. Yesterday was misty and humid and what used to be described as ‘close’. As if you were being bear hugged by a fleshy sweaty aunt.

2) In this song, the family sits down to eat and discuss the doings of their friends and neighbors. Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister were at the table. Who did you have dinner with on Friday? Sebastian was at work so it was just me and Mick. My darling had decreed there was to be no cooking. I’d had a hella tough week physically so he made me choose my preferred take-out. I am trying to be budget-minded because the summer paycheck draught is upon us but Mick had his bossypants on and I am helpless against an offer of General’s chicken after a long-ass sweaty exhausting day at work anyhow. There were spring rolls too!

3) Young Billie Joe MacAllister playfully put a frog down another kid’s back. Do you see many frogs where you live? See? Not too often. Hear? Constantly. Though I am no fan of hot weather and always mourn the end of winter’s cold, the sound of the spring peepers is the truly the first herald of the turn of the season and their cheeping whirr is beautiful. Right now we have the basso croaking of bullfrogs on the make and the endless Amazonian rain forest racket of the tree frogs. Add in those stupid boasting owls and nighttime here is as noisy as Times Square.

4) This song made Mississippi’s Tallahatchie Bridge famous. What’s the name of a bridge in your neighborhood? Oy, oy, oy! Until very recently the closest bridge had no official name but it looked like this:


But some jackass at the DOT (who probably got a HUGE kickback) had it torn down and replaced with a bland concrete overpass. They cut down all the surrounding trees, put a culvert into the river and just made this awful blah piece of anonymous road. It looks like shit and has all the charm of smelly laundry.

5) Bobbie Gentry often performed with Glen Campbell. Mr. Campbell’s family is very open about Glen’s battle with Alzheimer’s. Is anyone in your life facing this terrible disease? Aside from MIL whose vagueness is stress-related, no, not presently. But statistically your humble correspondent has a very big and very real risk for Alzheimer’s. To add to the fun- early onset Alzheimer’s! Now when a word escapes me or I am reminded of something I forgot (and didn’t even know I’d forgotten!) I have an “Oh shit, too much dope smoking as a teenager or Alzheimer’s?” moment. So. Much. Fun.

6) “Ode to Billie Joe” was made into a movie directed by Max Baer, Jr. Mr. Baer is better known for playing Jethro Bodine in a famous 1960s era sitcom. Can you name it? Of course. ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’. Long before I had a name for it (feminism) I always wondered why it was so humorous that Miss Hathaway had the hots for Jethro. She was patient, kind, generous, and the real brains behind her shitty hotheaded boss’s success at Commerce Bank. Big dopey Jethro could have done a lot worse than Jane Hathaway.

7) Bobbie Gentry made one of her last public appearances in 1981 on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Johnny is now seen in reruns on the Antenna TV channel. Think of the last TV show you watched. Was it new or was it a rerun? The last show I watched was ‘Mysteries at the Museum’ on Travel channel. And yes, it was a rerun, it was the episode about the furry trout.

8) In 1967, when this song was popular, Sweden changed its traffic laws and Swedes began driving on the right. Have you ever driven in a foreign country? If so, did you have a hard time adapting to their laws? I may have driven in Canada but have no specific memory of doing such. For some odd reason the ex was fixated on Niagara Falls and we went there a lot. (His other travel fixation was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington DC, it was the ONLY place we were allowed to go in DC. Not the any of the other Smithsonian museums, nor any of the monuments or famous buildings. Friends, there are just so many times you can visit The Spirit of St Louis before you wish Lindberg had crashed into the Atlantic and spared everyone the grief.) The only other foreign country I’ve been to is Mexico and I didn’t do any driving there either. Your auto insurance is invalid once you cross the border and I truly didn’t want any hassles with Allstate.

 9) Random question: Which would you rather have more of — compliments or hugs? Sounds easy, but I’m overthinking this one. Though I am a constant giver of compliments- always sincere, btw, a bullshit compliment is just an inverted insult, I graciously accept those given to me but always secretly feel they are undeserved. My Chanel grandmother gave me a piece of advice I took to heart and always use- never make a man feel stupid for giving you a compliment or a gift, or he will soon stop doing both. I expanded this beyond the romantic and apply it in all situations where praise might be given. Women are taught to deflect compliments with self-deprecating comments and a laundry list of their perceived flaws- example: “Terrific meal, Female Person!” “Oh no it wasn’t! I overdid the salt and forgot the chutney and besides I’m a stupid cow and should be thanking YOU for bothering to come to my shitty house and eating my horrible food even though I suck and the food sucks and my dishes are ugly.” “Uh, thanks?” See? Totally dumb.

On the other hand I am almost always the hugger not the huggee. Too big, I think. People tend to hug downward. Moms hug kids, kids hug stuffed animals. Large to small, you see? Comfort and lovin’ are offered to those we perceive as needing them and we giants are rarely (if ever) seen as vulnerable. I occupy the Groot place in the social dynamic. When the shit hits the grit I spread out my branches and protect everyone else. I don’t mind, it’s what I was born to do, I think. I’m just saying. Despite the mocking trope, nobody ever really does hug a tree.

However the day is getting on and I’m still futzing around here in my bathrobe. Thanks, Mary. Perfect timing. RIP, The Greatest, hope you and Cosell are having a gas catching up. Appreciate you coming by, blog friends.


This tree is LEAFING now, heh, ~LA

Who Would Listen To Me?

I click out of the video the beat still in my head.

My secret vice…slam poetry.

The beat. The cadence. The rising, rising, rising power of the spoken word.

I think how much I am enthralled by those fierce speakers with their rhythm-driven stories. Stories of fury and of joy. Of sadness and of memory. Words that burst out in staccato raps and in long soothing caresses on the ear.

I think how much I love them- those songsters, those poets, those word-wielding warriors. They stand on bare stages and muse, amuse, hum, and SHOUT. And the people in the dark give callback with snapping fingers and gasps and giggles.

I think about being on a bare stage sending my words, MY words out into the finger clicking darkness…then with a thud I remember who I am, what I am and I think,”Who would listen to me?”

No one.

But the words in my head don’t seem to get that. They begin to make lines anyway- merengue lines, rhumba lines, lines that know how to party. “Dunt dunt dunt dunt dunt DUH!” Orderly lines, marching lines, cadenced lines…”Left, left, left, right, left!…I don’t know but I been told/ women don’t count when they get old! To the left, left, left, right, left!”

The words, it seems, do NOT respect the calendar. Or what I look like. Or that I do my shopping on Tuesday to get the senior discount.

Silly words that they blithely ignore the gag and enveloping shadow of being a crone. The words dance and they march and they do not care about bringing scorn down on my head. The eye roll, the audible sigh, the impatient, “Anything else I can do for you, ma’am?”

It came fast and it came hard. The “ma’am” thing. Unexpected and shockingly painful. I spent my life in the service of others and when it was difficult and not one single thing was ever about me I soothed my loneliness with the vague idea and even shakier promise that someday it would be about me. When I’d done my job and taken care of everyone and everything, yeah, it would be my turn.


Except now that I’m here I am told by every advert, every movie, every TV show, by every store at the mall that I missed it. Apparently I’m over. My time, I mean. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.

Except the words don’t believe that…and neither do I.


Coming soon to a bare stage near you, ~LA the Renegade Poet